Foster Care

Foster Care Discounts + Ways to Save Money for Foster Families

Explore discounts and resources for foster families to help manage expenses and provide a loving home. Learn about Amazon Prime, YMCA discounts, and more.

Foster families often face unique financial challenges.

Taking care of children in need can quickly add up, from everyday expenses like food and clothing to special activities. These costs can be tough to manage, especially on a tight budget. 

Luckily, every state offers some sort of stipend to help with the costs of raising a child in care. However, all of these rates depend on the state of residence. For example, Massachusetts offers a completely different stipend rate than Ohio.

Luckily, discounts can help foster families save money on the things they need and want, making it easier to provide a loving and supportive home.

Let’s explore different discounts available specifically for foster families, as well as other ways to save money on everyday expenses.

Discounts for Foster Families

Several brands and companies have foster family specific discounts available. Here are some examples:

Amazon Prime Discount

Foster families can enjoy a special discount on Amazon Prime. 

This discount reduces the monthly fee for Prime membership, giving you access to benefits like free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music, and at a lower cost. 

To access this discount, you’ll need to verify your eligibility through Amazon's discounted program for families in need.


Many Goodwill stores offer special discounts for foster families. 

These discounts can help you save on clothing, household items, and other essentials. While the exact discount may vary by location, it's common for foster families to receive a percentage off their purchases. 

To take advantage of this discount, simply ask at your local Goodwill store and present any necessary documentation to verify your status as a foster family.


Local YMCAs often provide discounts for foster families, making it easier to access their facilities and programs. 

These discounts can include reduced membership fees, lower costs for classes and activities, and sometimes even free programs for children.

For example, in Indiana, one of the states where Mentor Foster Care operates, the YMCA offers a 50% scholarship to foster families

To find out about the specific discounts available at your local YMCA, contact your nearest branch and inquire about their foster family discount options.


OnceUponAChild offers a 10% discount for foster families, helping you save on gently used children's clothing, toys, and other essentials. 

This discount is available at all participating locations. However, it's a good idea to call your local OnceUponAChild store to ask about any extra discounts or special promotions they might offer for foster families.

Other Recreational Activities

If you’re looking for recreational activities, there are many different organizations and companies that offer discounts for foster families to have some fun. 

Zoos, aquariums, and museums often offer discounts for foster families. Keep in mind that the availability and amount of these discounts can vary widely depending on the location. 

It's essential to contact your local institutions directly to inquire about any discounts or special programs they may have for foster families. 

For example, Indiana has a great program that provides foster families with discounted or free admission to various attractions.

To learn more, check with your local institutions!

Other Ways for Families to Save

There are many other ways for foster families to cut down on costs and live more comfortably.

These discounts and savings aren’t always specific to foster care, but foster parents can take advantage of them to save more money.

Activities and Family Fun

Every child in care should have opportunities to have fun with their families! 

Here are a few cost-friendly options for foster families:

Summer Reading Programs

Summer reading programs are a great way for children to stay engaged with learning and entertained while earning rewards. 

These programs not only encourage reading but also provide fun incentives for children.

KidsBowlFree Programs

The KidsBowlFree program offers children the opportunity to bowl two free games every day during the summer at participating locations. 

This program is a fun and active way for families to spend time together without breaking the bank. To take advantage of this offer, check for participating bowling centers in your area and register your children online.

Groupon Discounts

Groupon is an excellent resource for finding family discounts on a wide range of activities and services. 

From amusement parks to dining experiences, you can often find great deals that make family outings more affordable. 

For example, at the time of publication, Great Wolf Lodge water parks offer family discounts of 53-61% off through Groupon. Regularly checking Groupon can help you save significantly on fun family activities and ensure that children in care have access to exciting adventures! 

Free Movies in the Park

During the summer, many parks host free movie nights, offering a fun and budget-friendly way for families to enjoy evenings together. 

These events typically feature family-friendly films and provide a great opportunity for foster families to relax in the outdoors. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and enjoy a movie under the stars.

Check your local parks and recreation department's website or community bulletin boards for schedules and more information — there’s bound to be a park in your area hosting movies. 

Household Expenses

One of the best ways to cut down on expenses is to look for ways to save on everyday household items, as these costs can, unfortunately, add up quickly!

Grocery Discounts through Thrive

Thrive Market offers discounted groceries for families in need, including foster families. 

To apply for these discounts, visit the Thrive Market website and create an account. Then, fill out the application for Thrive Gives, their program for low-income families, and provide any necessary documentation to verify your eligibility. Once approved, you can start shopping for discounted, healthy groceries online.

Savings on Formula

Formula can be a significant expense for foster families with infants. 

Signing up for savings programs with major formula brands like Similac and Enfamil can help. Visit the Similac and Enfamil websites and look for their rewards or savings programs. 

By signing up, you can receive coupons, samples, and other offers. Check your email regularly for new deals and discounts. 

Local Diaper Banks

Diapers are another essential item that can quickly add up in cost. Luckily, local diaper banks can provide free diapers to families in need. 

To find and utilize these programs, search online for diaper banks in your area or visit the National Diaper Bank Network website. Contact the diaper bank to learn about their distribution days and eligibility requirements. Register or sign up if necessary, and attend the distribution events to receive free diapers.

Emergency Assistance Programs

Foster families can access various emergency assistance programs to help during times of financial hardship. 

These programs provide support for housing, utilities, food, and other essential needs, offering vital resources to ensure stability for children in care.

Here are a few programs to consider:

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides financial assistance and support services to families in need. Each state administers its own TANF program, so benefits and eligibility can vary. 

Your best bet is to contact the TANF program in your specific area to see what your options are. 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP helps low-income families buy food when they’re having financial troubles. Foster families may qualify for SNAP benefits to ease the costly grocery burden.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

We know that home energy bills can add up — especially with more people in the house. LIHEAP provides help with home energy bills when it’s needed This program can assist foster families in managing heating and cooling costs to ensure financial comfort. 

Clothing and School Supplies

Both children’s clothing and school supplies are expenses that can add up quickly. 

Here are a few ways that you can save on these necessities:

Back-to-School Events

Many organizations and communities host back-to-school events where they distribute free school supplies to children in need. 

Local churches and community centers often organize these events. Check with local community organizations for dates and locations to take advantage of these resources.

Tax-Free Weekends

Some states offer tax-free weekends where you can purchase clothing, school supplies, and other essentials without paying sales tax. 

For example, Massachusetts typically has a tax-free weekend in August. These weekends provide a great opportunity to stock up on necessary items while saving money. 

Clothing Banks

Organizations like the Salvation Army and local non-profits often run clothing banks where families can get free or low-cost clothing. 

These clothing banks are a valuable resource for foster families looking to save money. Check with local branches or visit their websites for more information!

Healthcare and Dental Services

Children in care often qualify for low-cost or free healthcare and dental services through government programs, ensuring they receive the medical attention they need. 

Here are some key examples of these services:


Medicaid provides health coverage for low-income individuals, including children in care. 

Each state has its own Medicaid program with specific benefits and eligibility criteria. Children in care are typically eligible for Medicaid, which covers a wide range of medical and dental services.

Children’s Health Insurance Program

CHIP offers low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Children in care are usually eligible for CHIP, which covers routine check-ups, immunizations, dental care, and more!

Looking for More Information on Becoming a Foster Parent?

Looking for more information about becoming a foster parent?

By attending a Foster Parent Information Session Webinar and learning more about the fostering process, you can take the first step toward becoming a foster parent and providing a safe, loving, and supportive home for a child in need. 

Sign up for the webinar today, or call one of our local offices to get started!

Sign Up For The Webinar →

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